When I went to the doctor last month to get cleared to start training for the 2018 Princess Half Marathon, I also mentioned that I would like to lose 40 pounds. It was my hope that by seriously training, I would have the happy side effect of losing the weight. But other than that I wasn’t going to worry about it much. She told me that she wanted me to start keeping a food diary so that I would be aware of what I was putting in my mouth all day.
I was not really happy with that, and left the office with absolutely no intention of keeping said food diary. I had already started changing my diet more healthy “clean” foods, but this wasn’t one of those things that I really want to worry about. My goal is to be healthier and more active than I was, in no way is it all about weight and I felt like recording my food was going to lead to her putting me on a diet. I wasn’t going there.
Flash forward two weeks and I decide that I need to know what my basal metabolic rate is so that I know how many calories I need to eat a day just to keep going. My best friend told me that she was using MyNetDiary to track her food to manage a health condition. I bristled and complained – I wasn’t going to go there – and then about a week ago I downloaded the damn app for myself. I love it.
What It Is
MyNetDiary is a friendly, simple to use, website and mobile application for iPhone, iPad, and Android that helps people maintain optimal health by tracking their food intake. Users have several different options as far as membership, each with increased levels of service. Members can join for free (what I’m using right now), download the “Pro” app for a set fee, or pay a monthly fee for the full service MyNetDiary Maximum. In addition, there are also special modules for running, and tracking your critical information if you are diabetic.
At its simplest, MyNetDiary is an electronic diet log service. It offers users a place to “write everything down” so you know what you’re eating each day. But stepping off rom that simple concept MyNetDiary has gone much much father.
With its simple and cheerful interface, MyNetDiary allows you to track exercise, steps, and water intake, along side the calories you consume for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. As users input information into the diary a bright green apple fills with color the closer you get to your caloric goal for the day. If you go over that goal the apple turns red, but unlike some the app never chides you for having a bad day. One of my favorite parts is that when you input your exercise (mine automatically inputs from my gym app) it calculates your bonus calories! Bonus calories are those extra calories you can consume even beyond your daily intake because you worked them. I love that this app allows me to see exactly what sort of caloric impact working out has on my diet. Being armed with this information really encourages me not only to work out more – but makes me feel better when I leave the gym starving and feeling like I need to eat.
755,000 foods along with their dietary information are already in the MyNetDiary database, in addition, users have the opportunity to create custom food listings. This means you don’t have to guess when it comes to your nutrition, it also means that by using the custom options, you can recreate those family recipes and still track the nutrition. Users simply search for a food and tap it to add it to their diary for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. As you add the foods, the app counts the calories and records them on your dashboard apple.
Recording your food does take more time than not recording it, especially when you are creating your own custom options. However the app really does go to great lengths to make it as easy with possible for users. In addition to the search function, and manually entering everything, you also have the option to scan the bar code on the back of the food container and it will instantly input the information you need all you have to do is tell it how much of it you are eating. I just scan everything while I’m cooking so by the time I am done I can get down to eating.
By answering a few simple personal questions, MyNetDiary will do all the calculations for you to figure out how many calories you should be eating each day for your lifestyle. But this is more than simply knowing what your basal metabolic rate is, because MyNetDiary will allow you to set weight goals whether you want to lose, gain, or stay the same. When you create a goal date and MyNetDiary then calculates how many calories you need to eat each day within that time to reach that goal. I know I’m a dork, but I love the little animation that it uses of different fun vehicles rolling down a hill.
Summing It Up
Overall I am REALLY enjoying the free version of MyNetDiary, and think that if I’m still doing well with it in another month I may buy the Pro version. Being armed with the knowledge of how many calories are in things has actually freed me in a way because on some days I can eat more than I thought I could. Also, I find that I’m making better choices – which means I’m not having to starve myself because foods that are better for you tend to have fewer calories and you can take bigger portions.
For instance, pizza is my great downfall. It’s my favorite food and more is always better IMHO. I’ve discovered that I can eat 3X as much of my favorite thin crust pizza than I can my favorite hand tossed pan pizza. I would pretty much always rather eat 3 pieces of pizza than 1 piece of pizza, so this app helped me figure out how to eat more pizza!
I’m sure that I’ll write more about this app in the future, but for now I give it skeptic starter seal of approval. Go ahead – give it a try!